Despite the military actions, the tourism industry of Ukraine did not stop its activities, although its format has changed radically. Already from the first days of hostilities, most Ukrainian tourism companies reformatted their work, switching to volunteering and helping the military.
Starting from May-June, travel companies gradually resumed their direct activities. In the conditions of the Ukrainian sky closed for flights (but not for missiles!), operators form foreign tours departing from the airports of the nearest countries. Emphasis is also placed on domestic tourism in the safe regions of the country - Western and Central Ukraine.
According to many tour operators, one of the reasons for the resumption of work was the desire to continue helping the Ukrainian army, and for this, funds are needed.
Especially since life is taking its toll, and more and more Ukrainians are planning to restore their strength and nerves on vacation, at least for a couple of weeks trying to forget about air raid sirens and missile attacks.
Rating agency "ElitExpert" and International expert club made up National rating of travel companies, to support and highlight those business representatives who, sometimes to their own detriment, continue to work for the good of the country.
Representatives of the diplomatic corps, civil servants, economists, sociologists, representatives of the tourism industry, journalists and volunteers acted as experts. Out of a thousand large and small tourism companies operating in Ukraine, a hundred were selected at the first stage, and at the second - Top 50 companies.
This study is a contribution of the rating agency "ElitExpert" and the International Expert Club to the domestic business with the aim of supporting the most worthy representatives of the tourism industry, attracting new clients to them, including foreign ones, as well as expanding the opportunities of companies in the field of their volunteer and charitable activities.
It should be noted that among the participants of the rating there are both giant tour operators with multimillion-dollar turnover, and small travel agencies with up to a dozen people. This mix is not accidental, as the experts evaluated not the scale, but the sustainability and humanitarian activities of tourism business companies in the most difficult time for the country.
More often than not, small travel agencies that have managed to keep their staff engaged in volunteering and give part of their earnings to the needs of the Armed Forces have turned out to be much more stable than mass tour operators that have "frozen" their work and are waiting for everything to end.
Three factors became the criteria for evaluating the activity of travel companies. This is the preservation (if possible) of the scope of one's activity; preservation of jobs; as well as volunteering - helping the state and the Armed Forces.
Thus, the final rating became a marker and support for those travel companies that most decently coped with the most difficult challenge that faced the industry during the entire period of the country's independence.
On the first place the tour operator was far ahead of its competitors Join UP!, which previously held a leading position in the tourist market of Ukraine.
The company met the problems caused by full-scale war with dignity. After February 24, many of the company's employees joined the Armed Forces, Teroborona and even created their own voluntary defense unit "Skybat". Also, together with a number of restaurants, during the hottest days of the storming of Kyiv, the company organized cooking for the defenders of the city.
In addition, the operator launched the program "Like at home" for Ukrainians who temporarily left the country, and arranged for their accommodation at special prices in hotels and apartments in Montenegro, Spain and Georgia.
Despite the war, the company is developing its business, expanding its network in Europe. In April, the company "Join UP! Baltic" with tours to Turkey, Montenegro, Albania and Greece from the Baltic countries, and in May, sales of tours from Kazakhstan and Moldova opened. Closer to winter, the company announced tours from the Baltic countries to Egypt, Zanzibar and Sri Lanka.
A huge advantage of the tour operator is that all flights from Europe are operated by the company's own SkyUp airline planes under the certificates of partner airlines. The great success of the tour operator was that all the company's planes (with the exception of one in Kyiv) were abroad when the Ukrainian skies were closed. Therefore, now SkyUp, having a huge advantage in the form of an active air fleet, is creating a subsidiary company in Malta and becoming a full-fledged European company that will fly between EU countries. And, of course, the tour operator Join UP! will be SkyUp Europe's main client.
On the second place the tour operator was located Coral Travel, which is part of the large international structure of OTI Holding. From the first days of the war, the company's offices in different regions of Ukraine were repurposed and began to use their resources for volunteering.
Having taken a short break after the beginning of the invasion, the company resumed tourist activities in the spring and prepared several new tours and destinations. Recently, together with partners Coral Travel Poland, the operator offered Ukrainian tourists a new service - booking package tours departing from Poland. As of July, tours are available from Warsaw to Turkey, Egypt, Greece and Spain, as well as from Rzeszów to Antalya.
Third place - at the tour operator Alf. This is a mass tour operator, which was one of the leaders of the Adriatic routes in the pre-war period. The company continued its work even during the war, managing to keep its staff, and in the spring began to actively develop bus routes. Currently, the tour operator's priorities are dozens of summer "beach" tours to Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Croatia and Montenegro.
In addition, the company is very active in social networks and conducts lively correspondence with Ukrainians, covering its activities as widely as possible - both in matters of new routes and in helping the Armed Forces and charitable funds that help Ukrainians who were left homeless during the war .
Fourth place has a large international tourist operator Tez Tour. In recent years, the company has traditionally been included in the lists of leaders in a number of areas, in particular, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain, UAE. Now the company works remotely - it sells tours all over the world with departures from foreign airports closest to Ukraine: from Chisinau in Moldova, Warsaw in Poland, Budapest in Hungary and many others.
The company also helps volunteers and provides assistance to the defenders of the country, and some employees themselves took up arms to defend their country.
Fifth position settled company Eurotrips (Kyiv). This tour operator is the undisputed leader in the segment of author's youth tourism. Main destinations: Central Europe, Italy, Spain, France, Czech Republic.
In the first month of the war, the activity of the tour operator took on a volunteer nature - evacuation flights were organized from Kyiv, Dnipro, Lviv and Odesa to the nearest foreign countries. In addition, the company is proud of the emergency evacuation of 1500 people from the front-line Kramatorsk to German cities.
The company notes that they managed to save 90% of jobs, and by the end of the summer it is planned to return to the initial 100% of the team.
This summer, the company offers departures from Ukraine and Poland, and plans to resume author tours in Europe and Asia. In addition, the company notes that they allocate 20% of their income to the needs of the Armed Forces and charitable foundations.
On the the sixth line a Lviv tour operator was located "Visit", the best travel agency of Ukraine in 2020 and 2021 according to the results of the Ukraine Tourism Awards competition.
Already on the third day of the war, the company turned its head office into a volunteer center. Employees wove camouflage nets, dried vegetables and fruits for the front and helped people evacuate abroad.
In May, the company, retaining its staff, resumed its core activities and has already served more than 5000 tourists. In general, according to the management, the company's activity has recovered by approximately 50-60%, but the priority is now domestic tourism: excursions and tours of the Carpathians.
Moreover, the tour operator officially declares that the company allocates 50% of its profits to the needs of the Armed Forces - and this is the largest indicator in our rating, which deserves all respect.
Seventh place at the tour operator TPG (Travel Professional Group). It is a massive tour operator that is on the top lists of a number of destinations including Egypt, UAE, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Spain, Bulgaria and India. The management of the company emphasizes that they managed to keep their team, and salaries were paid, even despite the temporary stop of their main activity.
In the first weeks of the war, the company organized many free bus evacuation flights from Kyiv to Western Ukraine, with subsequent accommodation of people in hostels.
The company has representative offices in Poland and Kazakhstan and plans to start active work in these countries.
Currently, the operator offers numerous bus tours from large cities of Ukraine, not affected by the war, and takes tourists to traditional summer resorts - from Turkey to Croatia.
On the eighth place - Lviv tour operator Chord Tour.
This 20-year-old company has always specialized in its own bus tours, so the closure of the skies for flights has not hit the company's business too hard.
With the beginning of the war, the company organized evacuation flights to EU countries and other states, the company's offices became volunteer headquarters, and employees were on duty at refugee aid points. In May, the company fully resumed its core activities and again offers tourists dozens of bus tours throughout Europe.
"Our faith in victory is unshakable, that's why we are opening an economic front! Stable jobs, donations to the Armed Forces, payment of taxes - this is what our assistance to the state looks like now," the company said in a statement.
On the ninth place - tour operator iTravel (Dnipro). Before the war, the company was mainly engaged in author tours in Europe, Georgia and Ukraine, to a lesser extent offering beach and ski vacations around the world.
With the beginning of the war, the "ITravel" team created the "Aid Ship" charity fund, which purchases modern ambulances from Great Britain and delivers them to medical institutions of the Dnipropetrovsk region.
As for the main activity, the company now offers bus trips to Bulgaria, Greece and the Balkans from Dnipro and other cities of Ukraine. In addition, part of the tickets on the weekly flights from Odesa to Bulgaria and Greece are distributed free of charge among displaced persons who are forced to leave their homes because of the war.
On the tenth place - tour operator Extravaganza, the pioneer of many directions both in Europe and in exotic countries.
Life cannot be put on hold. We are fighting for the country, each on his own front, we are worried about our relatives, we are waiting for victory and we believe in the Armed Forces, giving all our strength to support those who are now clearing our land of invaders. And even the war cannot take away our summer and dreams about the sea," the Feeriya company emphasizes.
From the first days of the war, the company joined a huge army of volunteers, and part of the employees volunteered for the front and the Terrodefense.
Now the company is active again in the tourist business, having been forced to switch exclusively to bus tours. An important component of the company is domestic tourism - popular multi-day tours in the mountainous regions of Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, and Zakarpattia regions.
The second ten is opened by a travel company "Gamaliya", which was located on 11 place. This is the oldest travel agency of independent Ukraine, which stood at the origins of the industry 30 years ago. In addition to regular and VIP tours, the company is engaged in booking air tickets from European countries around the world with a personal assistant manager for the duration of the trip.
Twelfth place at the tour operator "Yastrub-Tour" (Kyiv). The company actively volunteered in the first weeks of the war, organized evacuation buses from central to Western Ukraine, and helped with free accommodation. Currently offers bus tours to the Carpathians.
On the thirteenth position multidisciplinary travel company "InSky". In addition to selling tours, the company is engaged in booking air tickets at special rates, planning business trips, helping to get an education anywhere in the world and using exchange programs for students.
Currently, members of the InSky team and their like-minded people are organizing international auctions in Maima in support of our defenders. Craftsmen, shops and ordinary people from all over Ukraine send lots to the auction, and all the proceeds go to the purchase of equipment for the soldiers of the Armed Forces.
Fourteenth place at the Odesa travel company "Navigator". The company proved itself very well in the first days of the war, massively organizing evacuation bus flights from Odesa. At present, having kept the team, offers author's tours to Turkey.
On the fifteenth position — tour operator GTO TRAVEL. The company's package tours temporarily moved to foreign departure airports, but all destinations remained relevant. The company's portfolio includes 82 cities of departure from Europe, and part of the income is directed to the needs of the Armed Forces.
Sixteenth and seventeenth places at companies "Van der Tour" (Odesa) and "Adriatic Travel" (Lviv) — tour operators of bus tourism, the main focus is on Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro and other areas of "beach" recreation. The companies kept their staff and also organized evacuation bus flights to Europe for people fleeing the war.
On the eighteenth place - the largest network of travel agencies in Ukraine "Come with us", covering more than 120 cities of the country. During the war, the company even expanded its geography, opening new branches of the agency both in Europe and in Asia - Poland and Uzbekistan. In addition, the company successfully operates branches in Kazakhstan and Moldova.
Nineteenth place at the tour operator "HO travel" (Odesa), specializing in exclusive stock tours.
During the war, the company's volunteers contacted hotels all over the world, arranging free accommodation in various hotels of the countries for refugees from Ukraine. The company also informed Ukrainians about job vacancies throughout Europe. Now the company offers "beach" tours departing from Odesa or departing from Chisinau.
Closes twenty cruise tour operator "Express Voyage", the general representative in Ukraine of one of the largest cruise holdings in the world, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, which organizes sea trips in various parts of the planet. The company, as before, continues to organize sea and ocean trips around the world, and also helps the Ukrainian army and navy.
With a complete list of TOP-50 travel companies of Ukraine can be found on the website of the National Rating Platform.